Erotica Cover Watch

Why only women on the covers of erotic books?

Archive for February 2010

Man Candy Monday

with 2 comments

Well, someone needs to buy some moth balls. 

This is a guy called Ricky D for Ajaxx. I’m not exactly sure what that means. But I’m pretty sure Homotrophy is a good website

Written by mat

February 22, 2010 at 11:09 am

Posted in Man Candy Monday

Man Candy Monday

with 4 comments

I can’t decide which is sexiest, the front view or the back. Oh, wait! I don’t have to decide.

Kristina x

Written by Kristina Lloyd

February 15, 2010 at 8:17 am

Posted in Man Candy Monday

Erotica Cover Watch: Please, Sir AND Please, Ma’am, ed. Rachel Kramer Bussel

with 28 comments

Please, Sir, ed. Rachel Kramer Bussel, pub. Cleis Press. Please, Ma’am, ed. Rachel Kramer Bussel, pub. Cleis Press

Watched by Mathilde Madden

What? No. Really? Really, Cleis Press? Really? Deja vu, anyone?

I mean, you do realise that it’s possible to take photographs of men, don’t you? You haven’t got them confused with, I dunno, vampires or something.

Well, I guess the best that can be said about this. And it’s accompanying book is that it is some kind of improvement on those last ones. Now instead of black rubber corsets we have coloured corsets. Plus, the women have heads: w00t! Women get to have heads, party!  Except that we don’t count that on Cover Watch. Nah, see, we count trashy women on covers the same as sophisticated women with vaguely hip make up. Still women. Still covers featuring women and only women. This is an erotica book and in the erotica publishing industry only women can represent the erotic. No, strike that, it’s not quite true. Only the desires of straight men can represent the erotic.

Like I said before, think about the gaze. Think about whose shoes you are being invited to fill as you look at these covers.

Now, do I need to come right out and say it: this, men and women of the web, is sexism at it’s simplest.

Since these books are about sex and power, let’s talk about sexism and power. We live in a patriachy. Men have power; women have power only where men allow it. So, say, women get to have the “power” of sitting on a book cover looking sexy, but we don’t get to have the (real) power of having our desires represented on book covers. Can you see how different those levels of power are?

What’s particularly unfair is how much artistic energy women sink into the erotica publishing industry. Women make up the bulk of the writers and editors and reviewers for these books, often for very little financial rewards. Wouldn’t it be nice if the result of all this work and enthusiasm was a product that acknowledged their right to desire on the packaging? Instead of just presenting their labours as a delicious treat for straight men to pick up and enjoy?

Again and again we see this idea that women who want to be part of sexual culture have to become performers. Have to be on display. Only men get the privilege of watching from the shadows, comfortable that their desire will be presented for them without them having to offer anything of themselves in return.

That these books, like the previous two in the series, refuse to acknowledge female desire (the books are explicitly heterosexual) on the goddamn covers is shameful. It’s 2010, women have eyes and hearts and minds. Erotica publishing’s continued obstinate ignoring of that simple fact is sexist, nasty and, actually, in these tough economic times, probably downright dumb.

Written by mat

February 11, 2010 at 11:05 am

Man Candy Monday

with 4 comments

Sorry for the second helpings, but I just couldn’t help myself. I saw this picture over on Janine Ashbless’s blog yesterday and I fell in love. *happy sigh*.

Come back Thursday for a look at what erotica publishing has been slapping on its covers lately. *irritated sigh*.

Written by mat

February 8, 2010 at 9:50 am

Posted in Man Candy Monday

Man Candy Monday

with 7 comments

If I had a cock, I’d never get out of bed either.

Welcome back to Man Candy Mondays!

Written by Kristina Lloyd

February 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Man Candy Monday